The type of improvement to expect after a spinal cord injury

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, such as in a motor vehicle accident, you may be concerned about your future well-being. The same holds true if you're helping to care for a loved one who has suffered this type of injury.

Despite the fact that a spinal cord injury is serious, you may be able to make improvement over time. However, since no two people are identical, there is no way of knowing for sure what will happen in the months and years to come.

Whether or not you continue to make improvements depends on many factors, including:

-- The severity of the injury. At the time of your injury, the severity is noted as either incomplete or complete. The overall level of damage has a lot to do with the type of progress you make in the future.

-- The level of injury. Your neurological level of injury will impact the type of progress you make.

-- Functional abilities. What activities are you able to complete at the present time? You may be able to strengthen muscles that you currently use as a means of becoming more self-sufficient.

It's important to work with an experienced medical team that can help you recover from a spinal cord injury. You never know what to expect, but your medical team can help you work towards your goals.

At the same time, you may want to learn more about the accident that caused your injury. A permanent injury, combined with mounting medical bills, may mean that you're in position to receive compensation from the negligent party.

Source: Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, "Understanding Spinal Cord Injury, Part 2 — Recovery and Rehabilitation," accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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